“Kenda” is the most common Kikuyu turf and has great wear tolerance, stands up to drought, and is very easy to establish. Mowing isn’t actually needed. Check with your local agriculture office first. The “Kikuyu” people, a prominent tribe that excelled in agriculture and had deep knowledge of nature, inspired the name for the plant. Share your garden joys & woes! 4:07. Through summer kikuyu has a high leaf to stem/stolon ratio and with good management the fast-growing green leaf (1… This helps prevent the build up of rank material and encourages clover seed set. This will encourage establishing clover seedlings. Standard size rolls: 1m 2 (600mm x 1.67m). In spring, sow in much the same manner you would any type of grass used for traditional lawns. It is also susceptible to haloxyfop, ethoxyethyl and imazapyr. It doesn’t need much watering, and copes well with dry air, which made it ideal for California at the time. Becomes rank and unpalatable if ungrazed. fact sheet 34 KIKUYU FS34 Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) is a soft, warm season grass originally from Kenya in East Africa. Easy Drill Storage - Duration: 5:26. Northern Australia:Grazing management should aim to maximise leaf and minimise stem. Only in spots that are bare or where many people walk constantly is it needed. Response to summer rain at Hamilton in Jan-March 2007 was 1.6 t compared to 0.3 for perennial ryegrass, 0.8 for tall fescue, 1.5 for chicory and 2.6 for lucerne. While it may grow in areas with average annual rainfall as low as 700 mm in the eastern subtropics, it is really only productive where annual averages are above about 1000 mm. kenyan traditional ruracio attire Kikuyu brides kikuyu ruracio dresses Kikuyu tribe clothing Kikuyu tribe facts. Soil N should be supplied as spring and autumn dressings of 50-100 kg/ha or through the legume component. Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. We will definitely have to put in some Kikuyu turf since we want our grass to grow quickly. Kikuyu is a grass species which prompts strong reactions, both positive and negative with many people happy to ‘kik-yu’ out the door for suggesting it has its merits! Spring: Maintain grazing pressure to keep pasture below 5cm (1400 kg/ha). Synonym – Cenchrus clandestinus Until today, Kikuyu (named after a tribe in Kenya) is still the most popular and affordable lawn, because of this reviving quality. Nutrient analysis shows that kikuyu is more nutritious than alfalfa. You can apply them on small cut wounds to help stop blood flow. Kikuyu responds strongly to applied P and N and these are usually the limiting nutrients. You can prevent the water borne fungus from spreading by taking care not to move the infected soil or grass to other areas of your lawn, and avoid walking through the yellowed patches, particular during damp weather. Kikuyu Facts. NPK fertiliser at rates determined by soil test results and in consultation with local agronomists should be used at sowing or soon after germination. It is also spread by livestock by seed in the dung or runners caught in their hooves. Leaf blades are folded when young, and flatten out, growing to about 30 cm long and 7 mm wide when mature. They may be best used as a post-emergence application. Keep watering for a few more weeks. Height – 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) Main insect pests: Army worms, sod web worms, african black beetle. Name – Pennisetum clandestinum Well fertilised and grazed kikuyu produces high quality forage. Note that you might confuse this grass with St Augustine (which you’ll find under the name Stenotaphrum secundatum in horticulture stores). Other articles where Kikuyu grass is discussed: weed: Biological control: Kikuyu grass, which was introduced into California to prevent soil erosion on hillsides and roadways, soon spread into orchards, turf, and crop areas, where it became a serious weed. De soort komt van nature voor in het gebied van Oost-Afrika waar de Kikuyu stam woont. Temperate: clover (balansa, subterranean, white). Dairy cows can produce over 15 L milk/hd/day, and beef animals over 400 kg/ha/yr LWG from vigorous kikuyu pastures. Is it wise to use kraal manure or chicken manure to fertilize Kikuyu lawn? Their presence is only indicated when the pollen-bearing stamens or feathery, pollen-receiving stigmata are extended beyond the shoot tip. Its resilient rhizomes overcome drought very easily and also cope well with otherwise difficult spots such as coastlines. It does not grow well in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, and is generally sown in autumn (providing seedlings will have developed sufficiently by winter to withstand frost) or spring. Unlike most other varieties of grass, there aren’t very many different types of Kikuyu grass to choose from. The State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication. Hi Kikuyu grass gives you a solution against dry spells, foot traffic and watering. In fact, there are no fungicides specifically registered against Kikuyu yellows. A healthy stand can survive such attacks. A local botanist grew the plant to identify it. Kikuyu grass is very easy to propagate through cuttings or simply by transplanting it. Southern Australia:Autumn:  From the break, graze to keep the sward looking like mown turf (below 5cm or 1400 kg/ha). Take note, though, that you’ll need to live in a region where the climate is mild in winter. This characteristic helps control its invasiveness a bit. Lawns do best when fertilized "little and often”. Sometimes it even spreads so fast, it has become invasive! Because of its rapid growth and aggressive nature, it is categorised as a noxious weed in some regions. Suited to very fertile, well-drained soils. It really needs full sun to prosper. Its ability to spread quickly makes it ideal for lawns that take a hammering from children or pets. Pyricularia leaf-spot disease causes a leafspot, death of leaf tips, and in severe cases death of seedlings (usually only in plants weakened by nutrient deficiency). Under regular grazing or cutting it forms a dense turf, but otherwise can grow to about 30 or 40 cm deep. You should not plant it. Optimum quality coincides with the 4½ leaf stage of regrowth. Doses to follow are about ⅓ to ½ oz (10 to 12 g) to a square yard (1 m²). Hard grazing also encourages clover growth. You should not plant it. Once the Kikuyu seed is in a fine leaf and low growing lawn such as Couch or Zoysia, the invader can be easily spotted and removed before it takes a foothold. As it is a very aggressive lawn, Kikuyu is ideal for areas with very high traffic demands and for holiday homes that receive little attention. Grazing management is important to ensure the kikuyu is grazed sufficiently to allow regeneration of the clover sward. From December to February the aim is to maintain grazing pressure to keep residuals down; this prevents a mat building up, keeps the kikuyu leafy and maintains clover in the pasture. Note that if left untouched, kikuyu grass will grow into a thick mat several inches thick (4 to 6 inches or about 10 to 15 cm). Kikuyu grass, for most farmers of livestock, is this little, ever-present species of value pasture that animals like grazing. The native area actually covers more than just one country. Responds well to nitrogen fertiliser in warm season. In southern Australia, it is considered to require at least 600 mm in the south east, and 700 mm in the south west. Although moderately drought tolerant, it responds well to irrigation, and produces most active growth during periods of high humidity. As a rule of thumb, kikuyu grows five leaves and then more stem, so to optimise production, grazing should occur when plants are at the 4.5 leaf stage, and cattle should be removed with a 5cm residue. Prostrate growth. Use the…, In spring or in fall, planting or tending a lawn requires care and attention for a good preparation. Animals can walk all over it with their heavy hooves and it will bounce back quickly. The downside of Kikuyu is, because it comes from a semi-tropical and warm climate, it cannot handle shade or semi-shade areas. Kikuyu is particularly demanding for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and soil fertility under the pasture should reflect this. Kikuyu has become naturalised in areas of summer or winter rainfall distribution. The aim is to achieve 30 - 40 plants/m2. Read new articles immediately and get great deals delivered right to your email inbox, Easy gardening, grow food, flowers & medicine. So in a way, we could say it’s native to Kenya and Uganda… and probably a few other countries, as well! Grasses: Kikuyu should not be sown with other grass species generally although short-lived ryegrass can be oversown in late autumn to provide winter feed. Kikuyu grass. It is a deep rooted, sod forming grass, spread by seed, rhizomes ( underground runners), and stolons (above ground runners). Once the crop has been frosted, the whole bulk is mowed to ground level and dried before threshing. Kikuyu turf also sends runners out as it spreads, like strawberries. March 27, 2013. Interest in it was spurred by the fact that it is well-suited to golf terrains, especially the wide spans of rough. Crushed blades of kikuyu grass are slightly astringent. However, after 1 - 2 weeks, the quality declines rapidly to about 10% CP and less than 50% digestibility. It has a deep root system (to >3 m). They then moved south towards present day Tanzania where the migrating group separated again and the Kikuyus moved towards Mount Kenya, where they settled. This is particularly crucial when choosing Kikuyu grass for newly planted gardens as initially you may have plenty of sun, but as plants grow, more shade is inevitable. It will sprout roots and spread from there. Kikuyu can grow rapidly in summer when conditions are favourable (warm and wet) and must be managed well to optimise pasture quality. 1-2(-3) kg/ha. Your email address will not be published. Moreover, in many mild and cool climates, temperatures are never hot enough to trigger blooming. Availability of other nutrients, particularly potash, should be monitored and corrected as necessary. It performs best in soils with moderate acidity (pH 5.5-7.0), but tolerates pH as low as 4.5 and the often accompanying high aluminium and manganese. A collaboration between AWI, GRDC, MLA, RIRDC and Dairy Australia. This compares with 9.2-10.4 for perennial ryegrass, 8.3 for chicory, 11.8 for lucerne and 12.2 for tall fescue. Kikuyu, Bantu-speaking people who live in the highland area of south-central Kenya, near Mount Kenya. The pasture is then allowed to grow back to the 4.5 leaf stage (say 15 - 20cm). Palatability is high when the sward is kept grazed short and has a signifcant legume content. De plant komt ook voor op zilte … Search on Clipkulture. Hi Leon, you don’t need to fertilize kikuyu as you would weaker lawns. In fact, you could have brought Kikuyu seed onto your own lawn just by visiting your mate’s house and walking across his Kikuyu grass. The Green and Gold Life 66 views. Check with your local agriculture office first. The second theory is that they came from a mythical place called Shungwaya, which is present day Somalia. Kikuyu poisoning occurs sporadically in cattle, especially where rapid growth follows a protracted dry period. Plant: A mat-forming perennial grass which spreads by underground stems (rhizomes) and profusely branched, creeping surface stems that root down at the nodes (stolons). Required fields are marked *. Production over 11 months at Hamilton, SW Victoria in 2006/07 was 10.7 DM t/ha for a Kikuyu/subterranean clover pasture. Like bermudagrass, kikuyugrass has a special photosynthetic pathway that enables it to assimilate carbohydrates at a high rate and to grow rapidly during periods of high light intensity and warm temperatures. For farms and homesteads, kikuyu is a great grass for grazing animals, since it grows back quickly and copes well with trodding. First, it is believed the Kikuyus came from Central Africa, where all the Bantus once lived. This is a sub-tropical disease and is unlikely to be a major problem is temperate Australia. Most growth in spring, summer and autumn. It is beneficial to scarify warm season lawns first in spring when an application of 5:1:5 can be introduced onto the roots at 50g / m². The seed crop is initially mowed off in October. It can tolerate some waterlogging and up to 10 days inundation, as well as moderate salinity levels. If you work it between the blades of grass with a rake, Great for dry and even desert-like, warm climate, Watering unnecessary or extremely reduced, It doesn’t like being trimmed too often and too short, Kikuyu grass tends to turn yellowish in winter. Kikuyu will smother any other weed that might grow on a lawn, like clover for instance. It can tolerate low fertility and high heat. Well suited to use as a base for a feedlot as it tolerates trampling, holds the soil, and responds to high manure input. Kikuyu is widely adapted but prefers fertile, at least moderately drained, light to medium textured soils. Northern Australia:Under optimum conditions, it is capable of producing 30 t DM/ha/yr, but is unproductive if not fertilised. 5:26. Used for dairy pastures in Queensland, NSW and far-eastern Victoria. Serious toxicity occurs spasmodically after rainfall, fertiliser application and invasion of pasture by army-worms. Requires high fertility for sustained production. It has a tendency to "scalp" when mowed short. They mostly have only a few hairs, while the leaf sheath is densely hairy. However, apart from these numerous advantages, kikuyu grass does present several disadvantages: Note: in some places, Kikuyu is invasive. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Kikuyu grass is an excellent barrier to block spread of weeds! Kikuyu Grass Types. Aim for 4.5 leaves per tiller with cattle or 2 leaves per tiller with sheep to maximise quality and quantity. ex Chiov) is a tropical grass from Eastern Africa that has been introduced in other tropical and subtropical areas.It is palatable, resistant to heavy grazing and mostly used for pasture. Kikuyu grass is mostly known for its abrasive nature, so if you want to have a neat, good looking lawn, you have to maintain it regularly. Kikuyu-gras is een grassoort, die in tropisch laagland groeit en behoort tot de grassenfamilie. Planting kikuyu runners is very easy and all you need to do is layer a grass node into a nursery pot. Several livestock disorders are occasionally reported. Yields of 200-400 kg/ha are normal, and up to 700 kg/ha achievable. Hyperparathyroidism ('big head') in horses, and occasionally nephrosis or hypocalcaemia in ruminants, has been recorded due to high levels of oxalate (up to 1.1% DM). Kikuyu is generally not sown with other grasses. However, it is also a popular garden lawn species in Australia, New Zealand, South Africaand the southern region of California in the United States, as it is inexpensive and moderate drought-tolerant. Popular in coastal areas of south-west Western Australia for sheep/cattle pastures. The advice provided in this publication is intended as a source of information only. Kikuyu grass became very popular across South Africa, professionally and domestically. The name, Kikuyu grass is used to suggest the native Kenyan pasture. Any nitrogen-rich fertilizer is perfect for this. Tropical Forages database (SoFT) - Kikuyu, NSW Department of Primary Industries - Kikuyu Agnote DPI-290, Steve Clark, Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries Research Victoria, Hamilton, Victoria. Kikuyu doesn’t absolutely need fertilizer. It can recover from drought conditions. Need advice? Seeds:  The kikuyu grain (caryopsis) is dark brown, ovoid in shape, about 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm broad. Kikuyu grass is native to the highland regions of East Africa. As with many grasses, it developed an affinity to the droppings of grazing animals, and this results in interesting poop mounds in fields and pastures. Kikuyu also has a tendency to create excess thatch and can be highly invasive. Caution should be exercised if using a sowing application of some straight fertilisers such as muriate of potash or urea, since they can suppress germination. However, many farmers are yet to know the immense value of feeding their livestock on this resilient grass … Sodium levels (at 0.02-0.05% Na) can be deficient for lactating cattle, and calcium levels, although optimal for lactating cows, may be inadequate due to "tie-up" with oxalate. He then collaborated with an australian university to make the new, amazing grass available throughout the continent as fodder and lawn material. P should be applied to maintain soil P levels at or above 15 ppm. According to Kikuyu creation stories, Ngai (their God) made a man, called Gikuyu, and his … Select a cutting from the plant by digging out a portion of the rhizome and settle it in at the desired location. Since Warm Season grass grows most actively in Spring & Summer, this is when it needs to be fertilized most. Average quality of kikuyu silage has been assessed at 13.5% CP, 64% NDF, 64% digestibility, and 9.7 MJ/kg DM ME. Kikuyu can spread rapidly from rhizomes and stolons. Stems: Rhizomes and stolons about 2 - 4 mm diameter. Established kikuyu should be grazed heavily over summer and autumn to prevent dead material building up. This will require more stock as growth rates increase. Kikuyu can also be planted vegetatively, in which case, the aim is to have at least one cutting/m2. Do this in April or May (spring), just as for the sowing. Monitor grazing at this time to ensure runners are not being pulled out. Subtropics: creeping vigna, greater lotus, pinto peanut, white clover 2. In colder, frost-prone areas kikuyu does not compete in winter-spring with annual legumes such as subterranean clover. In addition, i… In response to summer rain, kikuyu may grow rapidly and grazing pressure will need to be increased accordingly. De meest gebruikte Engelse naam is kikuyu grass. Top-5 Engaging Facts about the Kikuyu people - Duration: 4:07. You can also direct the runners to maximize coverage since secondary runners will appear and make the plot denser. Southern Australia:Dry matter yields are limited by available moisture, soil and air temperatures and fertility level. Kikuyu grass doesn’t cope well with mowing too often or too short. In general, it produces about 15-30 kg DM per kg N applied. Winter: Maintain grazing pressure to keep pasture below 5cm (or 1400 kg/ha). Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois): Your email address will not be published. Foliage – evergreen Kikuyu has a reputation for poor productivity and quality. It only presents a potential problem in soils of high fertility and can be a problem in cooler areas where it can suppress growth of the more cool-season-productive C3 grasses. Rank kikuyu is more likely to be damaged by frost than is well grazed kikuyu. Kikuyu Yellows is a root disease caused by a soil borne fungus which can devastate complete stands. Even though it rarely produces flowers and seeds, kikuyu grows very quickly through rhizome (or root) propagation. My lawn has been taken over over the years by kikuyu grass, but I have noticed that clover and burr clover have no problem thriving in patches in it. Fresh growth of kikuyu can be higher in quality than lucerne or chicory (e.g. Summary: A creeping, aggressive, course, perennial lawn grass spreading by runners (stolons and rhizomes) and with seed heads that are hidden within the leaf structure and only showing long, white, thread like stamens at flowering in summer. Rapid summer growth rate with high yield potential. Severe infestations of army worms and sod web worms can virtually defoliate a kikuyu stand, particularly if it is well fertilised and lush during warm, wet conditions. Although a well maintained Kikuyu grass lawn could look good in areas of full sun, it doesn’t stand up to shade-affected areas and quite often becomes patchy and dies off. Grows best between 15 and 25oC but will tolerate up to 40o C.  Growth ceases when exposed to regular heavy frosts. In favourable conditions the runners spread rapidly, making kikuyu a very suitable species for erosion control. Older growth is not readily eaten. It really needs full sun to prosper. Learn more about kikuyu grass Kikuyu Grass Fast growing, hardy and likes good drainage Will usually grow in any soil, but we still recommend a good layer of top soil for a better finished job. In warmer areas, Kikuyu grass can be highly invasive and is difficult to control. Germination of the kikuyu grass seeds should occur in just under two weeks (10 to 14 days). Newly sown kikuyu should not be grazed until the runners are about 20cm long and have taken root. Well fertilised pastures are capable of carrying 1.5-3.0 adult cattle/ha. Kikuyu grass lawn by Harry Rose ★ under © CC BY 2.0. St Augustine grass is thinner-leaved and doesn’t resist drought or foot traffic well. It occurs only in cattle, affecting all classes and ages. Only fertilize spots that need support. Summer: Increase the grazing pressure to keep the sward at < 800 kg/ha. If you fertilize your whole lawn, you’ll simply end up with much more mowing to do! And using broadleaf herbicide on the clover also kills the kikuyu grass…. A warm-season staple of Australian backyards, as well as sports fields, pastures, public areas and golf course fairways, Kikuyu is an excellent choice of grass to handle Australian conditions. Popular delicacies of the Kikuyu are Githeri (maize and beans), Nyama Choma (roast beef), Mukimo (green beans and potatoes). Seedhead: Much reduced and largely enclosed by the leaf sheath at the top of the fertile shoot. It will grow well in any type of soil. About 400,000 seeds/kg. The best time to sow kikuyu seed is when the soil temperature is above 20oC and there is a high probability of several days of good soil moisture. Inoculation: N/A: Major nutrient deficiencies: Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur. In the late 20th century the Kikuyu numbered more than 4,400,000 and formed the largest ethnic group in Kenya, approximately 20 percent of the total population. Australian strands of the grass, however, were originally sourced from the Belgian Congo in 1908 (present-day Congo). A lush summer perennial, Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' really makes a stand against other grasses with the intriguing shape and…, Mowing the lawn is an easy art to master as long as you follow these few crucial steps! Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) Description: Perennial. Although native to the entire East Africa area, kikuyu grass was first studied and imported to the USA from Kenya, in the center of that region. Kikuyu Grass Facts. Close-up of kikuyu grass by Harry Rose ★ under © CC BY 2.0 Since my husband and I are planning on installing some new turf, we are wondering what type would be best. It is definitely a very interesting alternative to traditional lawn grasses. Kikuyu Yellows infects the root system, causing root rot and subsequently grass death in a circular pattern. It is a medium blade grass that can grow with very little water and thrives in South Australia's dry heat. Grasses: Kikuyu should not be sown with other grass species generally although short-lived ryegrass can be oversown in late autumn to provide winter feed. The US Department of Agriculture acclimated kikuyu grass in North America a little over a century ago, in 1915. The tropical grass species Pennisetum clandestinum is known by several common names, most often kikuyu grass, as it is native to the highland regions of East Africa that is home to the Kikuyu people. Cutting from the rough tending a lawn, like strawberries ’ ll simply end up with more. The middle of Congo and Kenya to irrigation, and lambs love eating kikuyu grass, there are two explaining! M ) or too short its rapid lush green growth, drought hardiness, resistance to wear, and to... 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